Holidays + Family Time = LOVE

The holiday season has been so fabulous this year. I mean, December is my favorite month EVER!!!!! This month did not disappoint.

I would summarize the holidays as time, friend time, giving, traditions, good food, birthdays, card games, twinkle lights, board games, general dreaminess, christmas light hunting, Bailey's with hot chocolate, candy canes, baking, Joy tea, cabin time, skiing, flashlight tag, long walks and fleece!

And on the eve of a new year, I feel super grateful. Grateful for cousins and aunties and uncles and grandparents and friends and family near and far. I'm grateful for the women in our life who my daughter can look up to and aspire to be. And for the men that my son can play with and wrestle with and see what it means to be be a good man.

I'm grateful for the village that is our family and friends.

Happy New Year!

The photos that follow are just a few holiday highlights for this year!!

Cheers to 2014!



Merry Everything - From Our Family to Yours!

As we wind down this 2013, I sit here feeling so grateful. 
I still have many blog posts swirling in my head and things I want to write about. 
But simple is my game these days. 

Keep it simple and keep it meaningful. 
And choose to make each day special in some way.
I think that is my mantra for 2014. 

So cheers to all the people that have touched our lives in small and big ways all year long. 
Every day is special because of those we love near and far. 

'Merry Everything' really does wrap my family up in two words!
And we mean it. 

Much Love from the Gendreaus


Oliver Turns 6 Months {Olympia Family Photographer}

Turning six months old at the holidays makes for a VERY fun photo shoot!

This is Oliver.

I first met this gorgeous and kind family when Oliver was just two weeks (click here for a reminder). I was so excited when his mom had me back to capture the magical 6 month mark.


You better prepare yourself for some major cuteness.

Ashley and Ryan - your boy is so sweet! And I just adore you! Merry Christmas to you all!!!

Only 6 days til' Christmas!

Hope you are having a FABULOUS holiday month.




“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” — Nelson Mandela

Happy Holidays.


"7" | Nathan | Time Flies


You are THE most joyful human being I know.

The word JOY. It's how you have been described by others since you were little. You take the mundane and make it fun. You take nothing and make it the most enthusiastically awesome experience. It's your gift, really....spreading joy!

Being your mom is awesome. And I feel grateful for you every. day. of. my. life!

I wish you the greatest 7th birthday ever!

Love, Mama

Arden {Tahoma High School Senior} - Basically AWESOME!

Arden is amazing and hilarious and witty and so smart. She is a fabulous student, good friend and fantastic volleyball player!! We were pushing the envelope for finding any fall colors this late into fall, but we did and the day was super gorgeous and totally perfect. And Arden, well, she is pretty much a supermodel, as you will see. Her inner beauty just radiates!!!

Since our shoot, she has been accepted to two colleges (way to go!!!) And continues to succeed in so many ways! 

Arden - you have such a bright future! I loved our morning together and wish you the best always!!

Happy Saturday! 

We are gearing up for a weekend of 7 year old birthday celebration here!! More of that to come!



Blogging this because I never want to forget it......

No words needed from me.

Best give I could EVER have received ever ever ever!

Audrey and Nathan - just when I think being your mama couldn't get any more fun - it does! Watching you grow into these smart, kind, witty, loving, hilarious, goofy, awesome people is the best gift I could ever hope for.

You two are my favorites.


Barry and Emily's Crew | Tacoma Family Photographer

The end of fall brings so much.....the hint of the holidays, gratitude, family, decorations, great food and tons FUN!!!

This family just wrapped all that up for me!!!!

We played (and took pictures) a few weeks back and I'd say we successfully captured the "season" of this family! Age 3.5, age 10 months. I LOVED IT!  How quickly we forget this phase when our own kids have entered a new season of their own.

The days are long......and the years FLY by!!!

Jackson and Lainie - your brother/sister love is well rooted and you are the cutest!!!


Can I just say I love real family photos like this! 
Yes, we have some with everyone looking at the camera. 
But truly, this is so the reality of life with a 3 year old and 10 month old! 

Mama's love! 

Jackson LOVES his trains and showed me all about them! 

Barry and Emily - I just had a blast with you guys! And I love your family and easy going way!!!

Happy December!


Happy Last Day of November.......

It's the last day before my FAVORITE month of the year arrives. We are currently chilling out in our cozies, sitting by the fire, playing games, and drinking tea out at the cabin. I choose this over Black Friday ANY day of the week. Before we left, our family rallied (and also cheated a little) and bestowed Christmas upon the Gendreau abode. It was a perfect end to a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Cheers to the end of November and let the gratitude and love continue into December.

Did I mention I love December?

Big hugs!


The O'Byrne Family | Hoopla Superstar | Olympia Family Photography

Krista has become such a good friend this year! She is the superstar of Hoopla Events (total talent), a gorgeous wife, a loving mama and can coordinate like no other!!! I started collaborating with her back in the spring and just wrapped up another super fun styled shoot/party a few weeks back (which you'll see here in the near future!).

But on this day it was all about the O'Byrne family. This solid unit of four is awesome and we had so much fun exploring their property and capturing the beauty of this season of their lives! 

We didn't sit still for very long. And boy did we have a blast! 

Nothing like hanging out in your daddy's classic car in a field of pine trees! Hello Holidays!

LOVE this!

Kamryn is SO out of here!

Oh Krista - you are such a beauty! I'm so glad we met!

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving Eve - Eve! 



November thoughts......

Can you believe it's almost the end of November?

I swear this month FLEW by! But I have to say that although Thanksgiving is late this year and we have less Christmas decorating time....I, for one, have appreciated the extra time for thankfulness. I've enjoyed my extra week of fall decorations, my extra week of "autumn sunset" filling up my kitchen with deliciousness and the brown/orange/yellow/red construction paper everywhere I turn.

Every year my family makes a construction paper Thanksgiving Tree. We cut out leaves and add to our tree over the month. It becomes a tree FULL of gratitude  You might find things like, "I am thankful for Hot Wheels", or "Theo", or "Family", or "Pizza"....but you also find things like "Nathan loves Audrey" or "I am thankful for snuggling", or "I am thankful for my health". Regardless I totally love this tradition and save our leaves every year - tucked away in an envelope (I should probably go look for that envelope. Gosh, I'm such a stasher. Stash it away in a "safe" location so I don't forget - but really lost for a few years. I'm so notorious for that). Ok, I digress.

Truly, I am thankful for a lot. Every day, really. I'm thankful for the little moments where I may appear annoyed - but later in the evening I look back and find the nugget of goodness in whatever interaction I was having during the bedtime routine (which is where I can sometimes be found with a lack of patience). But when I think about it - I would want to be nowhere else but here with my family. The weight of the world slips away when we hang out and read or play cards or just snuggle and talk about our day.  I couldn't imagine my life any other way. For that, I am so thankful!

I was telling Audrey earlier this week that the three best days of my life were my wedding day, her birthday and Nate's birthday. She swiftly reminded me that my own birthday should be up there in my top tier since without it, they would never have been. Audrey, sweet Audrey, so insightful. So to my own parents - thank you - for your sacrifice and for finding each other and giving me such a great start to life! And the same gratitude to Todd's parents!!! And with that follows gratitude to so many generations all around us....because I couldn't imagine living my life without the joy so many of you bring to my world!!!!

I hope your holiday season is filled with what is important.....Love, family, and gratitude. Spread it everywhere you are, for you never know what impact you might have on another! You just never know.

Wishing you all a FABULOUS Thanksgiving holiday.

And I can't end without a photo. Isn't she scrumptious? She napped on the way to our shoot and spread nothing but love during our session.

Happy Thanksgiving!



It's 2pm here. I'm working. I'm looking out at this crisp, sunny, COLD day. I'm listening to my 13 year old black lab snore. AND, I'm slightly sappy that this guy turns 7 in less than a month.

Cue my maternal mush.

Get ready - I may be flooding the blog with classic old school shots of Nate!


Reid | Olympia Family Photographer

This little family - SUCH love and total adorableness. 

Reid recently turned 1 and he is ON THE MOVE!!!!!!

I love that this family enjoys the little things. 
The way he drinks his milk all. the. time.
His unending appetite.
The sparkle in his eye when the music from Curious George enters the room. 
His feet. 
His army crawl. 
His gorgeous eyes. 
His profile. 
The little things. 

Happy celebration of your 1st year Reid!!!!


The Gehring Family | Hood River Awesomeness

So, this shoot is just extra special in my heart! 
A few weeks back I traveled to Hood River, OR to chase around the most fabulous family! 

He was my husband's college roommate at WWU (Go Vikings)!
And they, as a family, are just so special! 
We love them! 

So sit back, relax and enjoy the most fabulous Gehring family. 

And sidenote - they have the cutest boys EVER! 
I love them and I may have bribed  rewarded them with orange tic-tacs and gum!

This right here is just 100% LOVE!

Scott and Heather, thanks for being super amazing!!!